Richie Sambora is a rock guitarist, producer, musician, singer, and songwriter who is the longtime lead guitarist of the rock band Bon Jovi. He and frontman Jon Bon Jovi form the primary songwriting unit of the band. He has also released three solo albums: Stranger in This Town in 1991, Undiscovered Soul in 1998, and his third, Aftermath of the Lowdown was released in September 2012.
Richie Sambora was a guitarist for the band Message, and with that band he gave out a record, which was re-released in 1995 under the name Message, and in 2000 under the name Lessons. Bon Jovi added Sambora to replace original lead guitarist Dave Sabo. Sambora went to a show and, after being impressed by Bon Jovi, approached him and informed him that he thought they should work together. They immediately hit it off as friends, and Sambora was invited to a rehearsal. By the time Bon Jovi arrived, the band was sounding better than ever and Sambora was hired on the spot.
Richie Sambora has occasionally taken over as lead vocalist on some Bon Jovi songs, most notably “I’ll Be There for You” and “These Days” when played live on the Bounce, Have a Nice Day and Lost Highway tours, while on The Circle Tour he performed “Lay Your Hands on Me” and “Homebound Train”. He has also performed his solo hit, “Stranger in This Town” during live performances. One of the live performances of “Stranger In This Town”, recorded during the Keep the Faith Tour, was released on Bon Jovi’s CD single “Dry County” in 1994.
Recent ventures have seen him compose television theme songs for both Entertainment Tonight and The Insider. He (along with Jon Bon Jovi) is part of the Ownership Group of the Philadelphia Soul, an Arena Football League football team.
Sambora made a cameo appearance in The Sims Superstar.
Richie Sambora is featured on the track “Baby Rock Remix” from LL Cool J’s 2008 album Exit 13.
His first solo outing was Stranger in This Town in 1991, a blues-influenced album that was received well by many critics although commercially a relative flop partially due to the more adult tone of the record that was not instantly appealing to Bon Jovi fans. Eric Clapton played the lead guitar track on the song Mr Bluesman, backed by Sambora on acoustic guitars. He did a short US tour in support of the album, featuring Tony Levin (bass), Dave Amato (guitar), Crystal Taliefero (percussion) and Bon Jovi bandmates Tico Torres (drums) and Dave Bryan (keyboards). “Ballad of Youth” was released in the UK in summer 1991 and despite plugs from The Friday Rock Show on BBC Radio 1 the song barely skimmed the top 75.
Undiscovered Soul was Richie Sambora’s second solo album, released in 1998. The album was produced by Don Was. In support of Undiscovered Soul, Sambora toured Japan, Australia and Europe in the summer of 1998. The band featured Richie Supa (guitar), Ron Wikso (drums), Kasim Sulton (bass), Tommy Mandel (keyboards), Everett Bradley (percussion; Japan only), Gioia Bruno (percussion; Australia only) and Crystal Taliefero (percussion; Europe only).
He made a special guest appearance on Bo Diddley’s 1996 album A Man Amongst Men, playing guitar on the tracks “Can I Walk You Home” and “Oops! Bo Diddley”.
In 1999, Richie Sambora appeared as a guest vocalist on the Stuart Smith album Stuart Smith’s Heaven & Earth, performing a cover of the Deep Purple song “When a Blind Man Cries”. Also in 1999, Sambora played the guitar solo on the track “Why Don’t You Love Me” on the album Tuesday’s Child by Canadian singer Amanda Marshall.
Richie Sambora also played on an album called Lessons from a band called Message. The album was recorded in the early 1980s.
Sambora sings “Long Way Around” (background audio) during the final scene in the 1997 Steven Seagal action film Fire Down Below and is featured on the film’s soundtrack.
Richie Sambora also recorded the song “One Last Goodbye” on the soundtrack for the movie The Banger Sisters. He also covered Jimi Hendrix’s “The Wind Cries Mary” for the soundtrack of The Adventures of Ford Fairlane, released in 1990.
His guitar work is also featured on the track “Misery” on Pink’s 2001 album Missundaztood with Steven Tyler.
In 2004, Sanctuary Records released a self-titled album which had been recorded in 1978 by Shark Frenzy, documenting Sambora’s first recorded material. The mix tapes had been damaged in a flood and it had taken band member Bruce Foster to remaster them for them to be released so many years later.
Richie Sambora co-wrote several tracks and played guitar on Australian rock/pop artist Shannon Noll’s third album, called Turn It Up. It was released in Australia September 15, 2007.
14 years after his previous solo album, Richie Sambora announced via his Twitter page that recording had been completed and that he was hoping the album would be released in July 2012. Photographs were published of Sambora working in a recording studio. The new album was produced by Luke Ebbin, who produced Bon Jovi’s Crush and Bounce albums. Aftermath of the Lowdown was released in September 2012.
Richie Sambora performed as the house band on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson on CBS for one week (December 3–7, 2012). Several guests sang along with the band over the week, including Craig Ferguson (singing Sugar Daddy), Denis Leary, Eddie Izzard and even Larry King sang the Late Late Show theme song.
How Richie Sambora Made His Money – Musician, Producer and Singer
Estimated Net Worth: $67 Million
Birthday: July 11, 1959